The podcast hype train passed me by until late 2018. I never understood it and thought it was some Apple specific thing. Then, one evening, on a flight from Amsterdam to Berlin, I thought "I'm too tired to work or read, but I can listen to an interesting story, let's give podcasts a try."

The first episode I listened to was by 99% Invisible. I believe that by the time I got back to Amsterdam a few days later I had listened to about 10 episodes. Half a year later and I had gone through 80% of all episodes. I'm a bit obsessive, and as it turns out, picky. For me to love a podcast it has to be:

  • Authentic. I have a soft spot for the lone podcaster who loves what he/she is doing.
  • Informative. I want to learn new things, and be slightly entertained in the process.
  • Orchestrated. I can't stand random people talking about something without a clear direction.
Orchestrated and Authentic can sometimes conflict. It's a sign of good artistic leadership if that doesn't happen.

Since my first podcast in 2018, virtually no day has gone by without me listening to a podcast. Most nights I fall asleep while listening to one, which I resume the next day. Either I fall asleep and it doesn't matter, or I lie awake and learn something new. Both are good outcomes.

Here are the podcasts that I've listened to a LOT. Thank you to all the hosts, producers and other people involved in creating these.

The A / I / O are the aspects above on a 1-5 scale.

A+ - Have to listen to any new episode:
  • The Memory Palace - A5, I5, O5
  • The Fall of Civilizations - A5, I5, O5
  • Hardcore History - A5, I5, O5
  • The Anthropocene Reviewed - A5, I4, O4
If you know these podcasts you will recognize a common theme. Nostalgia. Apparently it runs deep with me.

A - Loved most of the episodes but not all, or I'm slightly tired of it by now.
  • The Rest is History - A5, I5, O4
  • The History of Rome - A5, I4, O5
  • In Our Time - A4, I4, O5
These podcasts have taught me so much about the world. I feel a bit of Renaissance man because of them.

The Rest is History is actually A+ to me right now, but I know I'll get a bit tired of it eventually. There's there's just so much! I've listened to about 50% of the episodes now. Around 10% of the episodes are not really interesting.

One of the best gifts I've ever received is a signed copy of the Rest Is History. Thank you dearest wife! Here it is:

B - Absolutely loved these in the past but lately I've stopped enjoying them as intense as before
  • 99% Invisible - A3, I2, O5
  • This American Life - A4, I3, O5
  • Revisionist History - A3, I3, O5
The style of Revisionist History get tiring a bit too quickly. 99% Invisible and TAL have become a bit too woke for my tastes.

C - Pretty enjoyable but too infantilized
  • Cautionary Tales - A2, I3, O3
  • 50 Things That Made the Modern World - A3, I5, O5


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